How and when should your baby start eating solid food

Studio 4

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR) — It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that babies be breastfed exclusively until about six months. At six months, a baby’s needs, particularly for certain micronutrients, exceed what can be provided by breast milk alone. That’s when the baby is probably to expand his or her pallet.

Dr. Teresa Baker and Christine Garner from the Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have more.

When to begin solids:

Signs that a baby is ready to begin trying foods include sitting up with minimal support, having good head control, intently watching others eat table food, and reaching for food. The loss of the tongue thrusting reflex, by which a baby immediately pushes food is out of its mouth, is also a good indicator of readiness for solid foods. Importantly, as foods are introduced, breast milk (or formula) should continue to be a major source of the baby’s nutrition until at least 12 months.

First foods:

  • High in iron: infant cereal, meat
  • Single-ingredient foods:
  • Mashed avocado, banana
  • Cooked and pureed meat, fish, beans, sweet potato, peas, carrots
  • Allergenic foods acceptable
  • Variety, all food groups by 7-8 months
  • Sips of water acceptable

How to begin:

  • Baby sitting upright
  • Small amount on spoon
  • 1-2 teaspoons, 1-2 times per day
  • New food every 3 days
  • Gradually offer lumpier textures and soft small pieces
  • Watch for and respond to hunger and fullness cues
  • Minimize distractions

Foods to avoid:

  • hot dogs
  • nuts
  • lumps of nut butters
  • popcorn
  • whole grapes
  • hard, raw fruits or vegetables

Safety with solid food:

  • Check food temperature
  • Baby sits upright
  • Always stay with your baby during mealtimes
  • Never put solids in a bottle
  • Spoon-feed from a bowl, not a jar of baby food

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center- Infant Risk Center
1400 Wallace Blvd. Amarillo, TX 79106
(806) 352-2519

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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